Keep Calm and Read a Psalm 99:1-3:
“The LORD reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
The LORD is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the people.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
He is holy.”
A power vacuum. Never a good thing for a country. Picture your typical Medieval kingdom, whether it be England or Arendelle or Narnia or Gondor or whatever. The aged king sits up to share who he wants to succeed him but draws his final breath before he can get it out. The kingdom takes a couple days off to mourn. Then, after the funeral, everyone exchanges their black robes for their armor and swords. It’s a War of Succession. Who will be the next king? Only the sword will tell. Now, if the king had a son, no problem. Even if he only had a daughter, concessions could be made for her to rule (just ask the dear old Queen of England). But if the king had no children and made no clear path of succession, all hell would break loose in a fight for the throne. A fight to reign.
This happened all the time in ancient Rome. The emperors did not have a clear line of succession, and the son did not always inherit the throne. That’s why there were so many wars, wars that would eventually topple the mighty Empire. For instance, when Julius Caesar was assassinated, his nephew Octavian (soon to be called Augustus) “inherited” the throne. But first he had to dispose of his uncle’s assassins: Brutus and Cassius. Then, some other assailants. And finally, he had to dispatch with Mark Antony and his accomplice Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Then maybe, he could ascend the throne and place the Empire under his reign. Only to have to worry about who would succeed him. And on and on it goes. Sometimes the next emperor would be picked long before and the succession would be smooth. Many other times, though, the emperor was a lunatic who had to be assassinated (cough, cough, Nero). Then, the military had to choose between a general and an assassin. It seems like every emperor had someone vying to take the throne that they had to get rid of. Ruling the known world is not an easy task.
It’s important for a country to know who’s in charge. We don’t understand that as Americans, since we have a clear line of succession. Yet still, when Kennedy was murdered, there was panic in everyone’s eyes, even though they knew that Johnson would easily take over for him. People want a feeling of security knowing who is leading them, even if it’s a jerk.
Well, let me assure you of something. Even if President Obama, VP Biden, the whole Cabinet, all of Congress, the Supreme Court Justices, every governor of every state—if all our leaders were suddenly killed, you would still have no reason to panic. Because there is Someone Who will reign no matter what. His name is God. And our Psalm boldly declares: “The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!” God is on His Throne, no matter who is ruling our world. Let Putin invade whatever country he wants. Let ISIS rant and rave and rape the country of Iraq. Let dictators like Assad, Castro, and Kim Jong Un do their worst. They are not in charge. They have no power, except from our God. They are puppets in His Hands. He reigns—and He alone.
What a comfort. The King over this universe knows your name. He loves you. He wants you to talk to Him, to tell Him your worries, to ask Him for help. One Hand grips the Throne of all Creation while the other reaches down to hold your hand. To feel to your needs. To carry you through the pain. To give you His power. To rule in your heart.
He is sovereign. He’s in control. But He still gives us humans a choice. In order to genuinely love Him, it must be our choice. So sitting on His Throne, He asks us to let Him into our hearts. He wants His reign to extend into that domain. He wants His throne to be as big as your heart. With no room for another, lesser throne. Power uncompromised. He rules this planet. Let Him rule your heart.
-Matthew W., SC